Countless words are written every offseason touting the best players to target or players to fade in upcoming fantasy drafts. And that makes sense. The fantasy game is centered around the various skill positions that make up NFL offenses. One aspect of the fantasy game that goes without notice is offensive line play since offensive lines make up 45 percent of every offense’s personnel in the league. It isn’t a coincidence that many of the teams that we view as “the best” are offensive line-focused.
Being able to understand the best offensive lines then becomes an edge that can be exploited to improve fantasy teams. These rankings take plenty of consideration, including the consistency year to year between offensive lines. Having consistency among the offensive line is crucial since you have five players that need to understand their assignments, the objective of the play, and are seeing the same things to execute at a high level. Below are the offensive lines, ranked 1-32, for the upcoming 2023 NFL season.
Tier 1: The Elite Units
1. Philadelphia Eagles
Projected Starters: Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Cam Jurgens, Lane Johnson
Key Reserves: Tyler Steen (G), Jack Driscoll (T)
There is no reason to move the Eagles down from the top spot heading into 2023 after a dominant 2022 season. Philadelphia’s four returning starters allowed just 71 total pressures and seven sacks last season according to PFF.
The Eagles will be replacing a significant hole at right guard left by Isaac Seumalo, but projected starter Cam Jurgens was a second-round pick in 2022 and should plug in quite well after a solid career at center with Nebraska. They also have experienced depth in the form of veteran Jack Driscoll. 2023 third-round pick Tyler Steen was a solid left tackle at Alabama (2.0 sacks in 498 pass-blocking snaps). Additionally, he has the versatility to play guard or tackle depending on the team’s needs.
2. Detroit Lions
Projected Starters: Taylor Decker, Jonah Jackson, Frank Ragnow, Graham Glasgow, Penei Sewell
Key Reserves: Halapoulivaati Vaitai (G)
The gap between the Lions and the Eagles is not very big. Penei Sewell took the next developmental step in his second season, finishing as a punishing run blocker who still needs a bit of refinement in pass protection (28 pressures on 663 pass-blocking snaps). Left tackle Taylor Decker continued to provide steady play at left tackle as well. Decker finished with a 4.96-percent pressure rate in 2022. However, things are far less settled on the inside.
Center Frank Ragnow finished with PFF’s No. 8 highest grade at center in 2022 (77.9). However, he is surrounded by two solid but unspectacular guards in Jonah Jackson and free agent acquisition Graham Glasgow. The Lions also don’t have the same quality of depth as the Eagles after backup interior lineman Evan Brown left in free agency. Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai missed the entire 2022 season due to an injury. This offensive line is very top-heavy and could struggle if any of their starters miss time.
3. Baltimore Ravens
Projected Starters: Ronnie Stanley, John Simpson, Tyler Linderbaum, Kevin Zeitler, Morgan Moses
Key Reserves: Patrick Mekari (T), Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu (G), Ben Cleveland (G), Daniel Faalele (T)
Injuries over the past two seasons have allowed the Ravens to build out depth across the entire offensive line. This gave them plenty of insurance if injuries pop up across the unit. The ranking hinges on the belief that Ronnie Stanley can recover from ankle injuries that have cut his last three seasons short. Even though he was limited last season, the veteran left tackle allowed just one sack on 298 pass-blocking repetitions. Morgan Moses is a punishing run blocker whose game finally came full circle last season (career-low 24 pressures on 558 passing plays). Kevin Zeitler is a plug-and-play right guard. Tyler Linderbaum justified his 2022 first-round selection despite questionable measurables by finishing as PFF’s No. 10-ranked center in his first season.
The biggest question mark is at left guard where veteran John Simpson is locked in a battle with 2023 sixth-round pick Malaesala Aumavae-Laulu. Simpson seems to have the early edge due to his proficiency as a pass blocker. However, he’s been far from good in his career. The Ravens’ offensive line is rounded out by experienced depth pieces like Patrick Mekari (1,140 snaps since 2021), Ben Cleveland (459 snaps since 2021), and developmental tackle Daniel Faalele.
Tier 2: Great With at least One Question Mark
4. Cleveland Browns
Projected Starters: Jedrick Wills Jr., Joel Bitonio, Ethan Pocic, Wyatt Teller, Jack Conklin
Key Reserves: Dawand Jones (T), Nick Harris (C), Luke Wypler (C/G)
Cleveland returns their entire starting offensive line once again in 2023, but some of their players are starting to show their age. Tackles Jedrick Wills Jr. (41 pressures and six sacks on 652 passing plays) and Jack Conklin (13 pressures on 508 passing plays) weren’t their usual dominant selves on the edges last season. These issues were mitigated by strong play from Joel Bitonio (PFF’s second-ranked guard with an 87.5 grade) and Ethan Pocic (10 pressures on 408 passing snaps).
If the Browns get bounce-back seasons from Wills Jr. and Conklin, they can easily finish as a top-3 unit once again in 2023. The team also took a shot on mountainous Ohio State tackle Dawand Jones with the 111th pick of the 2023 draft (three sacks in 924 career pass-blocking reps). Jones is a punishing blocker who is shockingly mobile for his size. However, he can struggle with speed rushers who change direction on him quickly. He’s not much more than a potential swing tackle at this point.
5. Atlanta Falcons
Projected Starters: Jake Matthews, Matthew Bergeron, Drew Dalman, Chris Lindstrom, Kaleb McGary
All of the early-round draft picks the Falcons invested into their starting offensive line gelled in 2022. The Falcons finished the season as arguably the best run-blocking unit in the NFL last season. This helped 2022 fourth-round pick Tyler Allgeier rack up over 1,000 rushing yards in his first season. Right guard Chris Lindstrom is in the conversation for the best interior offensive lineman in the NFL. Kaleb McGary took a big step last season to earn a big contract extension this offseason.
This team was solid in pass protection as well. Although, the team will certainly hope for more consistency out of center Drew Dalman (27 pressures on 517 passing plays). 2023 second-round pick Matthew Bergeron should fit in just fine with this unit. He will transition into the left guard position after three seasons playing tackle for Syracuse. Unfortunately, this team’s depth took a massive hit with longtime starter (and projected 2023 backup) Matt Hennessey suffering a knee injury that required a trip to the injured reserve. With the release of Jalen Mayfield, the Falcons will head into the 2023 season with an entire backup offensive line consisting of UDFA’s. This unit can go south in a hurry if any of the starters are forced to miss time.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Projected Starters: Rashawn Slater, Zion Johnson, Corey Linsley, Jamaree Salyer, Trey Pipkins III
Key Reserves: Foster Sarell (T), Brenden Jaimes (G)
The Chargers are taking a “studs and duds” approach to the offensive line. Rashawn Slater looked to be cementing himself as one of the NFL’s best left tackles (three pressures on 113 pass-blocking snaps) through three weeks of the NFL season before a bicep injury ended his year. Additionally, Corey Linsley remains a top-10 center in the NFL. Plenty will hinge on the continued development of left guard Zion Johnson and right tackle Trey Pipkins III. Those two players combined to allow 44-percent of the team’s pressures last season. Jamaree Salyer got some excellent experience filling in for Slater last season (five sacks on 696 pass-blocking snaps). He should slot in just fine at right guard. Unfortunately, the Chargers have historically been snakebitten by injuries and lack much depth behind their five starting linemen.
7. Green Bay Packers
Projected Starters: David Bakhtiari, Elgton Jenkins, Josh Myers, Jon Runyan, Zach Tom
Key Reserves: Yosh Nijman (T), Sean Rhyan (G), Royce Newman (G)
Like Baltimore, a litany of injuries has allowed the Packers to develop excellent depth across their offensive line. Seven different players logged at least 451 snaps across the Green Bay offensive line in 2022. Not one of those players allowed more than 28 pressures or five sacks on the season. Expect a bounce-back year from Elgton Jenkins two seasons removed from an ACL injury. Bakhtiari remains a quality left tackle. However, it remains to be seen if he can complete an entire season without missing games. Most of Green Bay’s offensive line are solid starters. Their depth at multiple positions pushes them into the top-7 for the upcoming season.
8. Dallas Cowboys
Projected Starters: Tyron Smith, Tyler Smith, Tyler Biadasz, Zack Martin, Terence Steele
Key Reserves: Josh Ball (G), Chuma Edoga (T) (INJ)
It has been a while since we have seen a fully healthy Tyron Smith playing at left tackle. If he can pull it together in 2023, then this unit can climb quickly. 2022 first-round rookie Tyler Smith filled in admirably in his absence (6.2-percent pressure rate on 623 pass-blocking snaps). He will settle into left guard next season, which is the role the team envisioned for him when they drafted him last season. Zack Martin has earned his offseason extension after playing as one of the best guards in the NFL over his entire career. More will be needed from Tyler Biadasz at center after he struggled to open lanes last season. The knee injury to versatile veteran Chuma Edoga could prove detrimental if Tyron Smith misses time again and forces the Cowboys to head into the season with Josh Ball as their only dependable backup offensive lineman.
9. Kansas City Chiefs
Projected Starters: Donovan Smith, Joe Thuney, Creed Humphrey, Trey Smith, Jawaan Taylor
Key Reserves: Lucas Niang (T), Nick Allegretti (G/C), Prince Tega Wanogho (T)
The Chiefs elected to blow up a Super Bowl-caliber offensive line this offseason, letting both starting tackles (Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie) walk in free agency. Time will tell if these moves will work well for them. The projected replacements (Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor) averaged a PFF grade of 58.4, which would have graded out as the 78th-best tackle in the NFL last season. They also combined to allow 47 pressures and 11 sacks in 2022.
The interior combination of Joe Thuney and Creed Humphrey remains one of the top duos in the NFL, but Kansas City will need a bounce-back from right guard Trey Smith after he had a sophomore slump last season. Kansas City has solid depth in tackle Lucas Niang and guard/center Nick Allegretti and have a pair of tackles with massive upside in Prince Tega Wanogho and 2023 third-round pick Wanya Morris, a former five-star recruit for Oklahoma with injury flags.
10. Denver Broncos
Projected Starters: Garett Bolles, Ben Powers, Lloyd Cushenberry III, Quinn Meinerz, Mike McGlinchey
Key Reserves: Cam Fleming (T), Kyle Fuller (G)
Continuity is usually key when it comes to strong offensive line play. But if you can’t build continuity across the line, then investing in the top free agents at several positions is a good consolation prize. Mike McGlinchey was the top right tackle on the market this offseason. However, he struggled with consistency in his final year with the 49ers. The team will also hope that Ben Powers can prove to be an upgrade from former left guard Dalton Risner.
Denver will need left tackle Garett Bolles to stay healthy in 2023 after he played just 325 snaps last season. The continued development of center Lloyd Cushenberry III and right guard Quinn Meinerz is also essential to this unit gelling early in Sean Payton’s first season. Cam Fleming and Kyle Fuller (the guard version) are solid depth pieces given this team’s injury woes in 2022.
Tier 3: Average Units with Flashes of Greatness
11. Minnesota Vikings
Projected Starters: Christian Darrisaw, Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, Ed Ingram, Brian O’Neill
Key Reserves: Chris Reed (G)(INJ), Blake Brandel (G)
The Minnesota Vikings would be listed in the top-3 if this ranking were just comprised of tackle duos. Unfortunately, these rankings account for the entire offensive line depth chart. In that regard, the Vikings are wildly average. Christian Darrisaw and Brian O’Neill combined to allow just 47 pressures on a combined 1,320 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. Meanwhile, the interior combination of Ezra Cleveland, Garrett Bradbury, and Ed Ingram gave up 147 pressures on 2,064 passing plays. Ed Ingram was especially brutal in his rookie season. He ranked as the No. 109 pass-blocking guard according to PFF (42.6 grade). Chris Reed (when healthy) is a solid depth piece on the interior, but there are a lot of questions behind the starters. This team will need significant development from their interior pieces to climb into the top 10 of offensive lines this season.
12. San Francisco 49ers
Projected Starters: Trent Williams, Aaron Banks, Jake Brendel, Spencer Burford, Colton McKivitz
Key Reserves: Jaylon Moore (T), Jon Feliciano (G), Matt Pryor (T)
San Francisco entered the 2022 season with serious questions on the interior of the offensive line with two strong bookends. Now they enter 2023 with the same questions on the interior but with another hole to fill with Mike McGlinchey‘s departure. Trent Williams remains one of the best tackles in football, defying logic (and age) on his way to another top-5 PFF finish among all tackles in 2022.
Both Aaron Banks and Jake Brendel performed admirably in their first season starting in 2022. The team will hope that Spencer Burford can turn his flashes into consistency at right guard after spending most of last season rotating with free agent departure Daniel Brunskill. Colton McKivitz (one pressure on 32 pass-blocking reps) will get the first shot at replacing McGlinchey. However, this team has tackle depth with veteran Matt Pryor and developmental 2021 draft pick Jaylon Moore (two sacks on 95 pass-blocking snaps in 2022). Adding veteran interior lineman Jon Feliciano was a savvy move that builds depth at center and guard in case of injuries or struggles this season.
13. Seattle Seahawks
Projected Starters: Charles Cross, Damien Lewis, Evan Brown, Phil Haynes, Abraham Lucas
Key Reserves: Stone Forsythe (T), Jake Curhan (T), Anthony Bradford (G)
Seattle invested heavily in their offensive line during the 2022 NFL draft and seemingly struck gold with two tackles that made immediate impacts in their rookie seasons. Both Charles Cross (50 pressures allowed) and Abraham Lucas (30 pressures allowed) had their struggles in their first season, but they each flashed the ability to be NFL starting-caliber tackles throughout the year.
These two, combined with Damien Lewis (PFF’s 27th-ranked guard in 2022) and Evan Brown (4.8 percent pressure rate on 456 pass-blocking snaps) form a solid foundation for an offensive line. Veteran Phil Haynes has the inside track to be the starting right guard in Week 1. However, 2023 third-round pick Anthony Bradford out of LSU is an imposing run blocker who could push for some playing time this season. Stone Forsythe and Jake Curhan provide experienced depth should anything happen to Cross or Lucas in their second seasons. This is a solid overall unit of blockers.
14. Cincinnati Bengals
Projected Starters: Orlando Brown Jr., Cordell Volson, Ted Karras, Alex Cappa, Jonah Williams
Key Reserves: Jackson Carman (T/G), Hakeem Adeniji (T), Max Scharping (G), La’el Collins (T) (PUP)
The Bengals shocked many when they invested their limited cap space into Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency despite having Jonah Williams at left tackle. The move kicked Williams (PFF’s 72nd-ranked tackle) to the right side and preceded an unfulfilled trade request this offseason. This move comes just one season after a total overhaul of the offensive line that was largely positive. However, it was not enough to get the Bengals a Super Bowl ring. Brown Jr. had his struggles last season in Kansas City (58 pressures on 893 pass-blocking snaps). Hopefully, he will provide more stability as a pass blocker and more power in the run game for the Bengals.
Still, that doesn’t solve the Bengals’ biggest problem on the line after Cordell Volson struggled in his first season. The Bengals have excellent depth along the offensive line to mitigate those problems though with Jackson Carman and Max Scharping able to plug in at guard and Hakeem Adeniji and La’el Collins (currently on the PUP list) ready to replace any vacancies at tackle due to injury.
15. Miami Dolphins
Projected Starters: Terron Armstead, Liam Eichenberg, Connor Williams, Robert Hunt, Austin Jackson
Key Reserves: Kendall Lamm (T), Isaiah Wynn (G/T), Dan Feeney (G), Cedric Ogbuehi (T)
The Dolphins showed what it looks like to nail a free agent class by attacking the offensive line position. Terron Armstead stayed (mostly) healthy during his first season with the Dolphins, playing in 13 games and finished as PFF’s No. 15-graded tackle in 2022. Additionally, the gamble of spending money on Connor Williams and moving him to center also paid dividends. Williams proved to be a solid center and provided stability on the interior.
Unfortunately, Liam Eichenberg didn’t take well to guard (27 pressures on 409 pass-blocking snaps), and starting right tackle Austin Jackson made it just 84 snaps before suffering a season-ending injury. General injury concerns across the line and a lack of high-end depth could knee-cap the Dolphins in 2023, but a healthy season could have this unit pushing into the top 10 if everything breaks their way.
Tier 4: Good Units with Big Upside
16. Chicago Bears
Projected Starters: Braxton Jones, Teven Jenkins, Cody Whitehair, Nate Davis (INJ), Darnell Wright
Key Reserves: Larry Borom (T), Lucas Patrick (C/G), Ja’Tyre Carter (G)
The Bears 2022 tank job yielded the top overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft and a huge sum of the salary cap to use this offseason. However, the Bears didn’t need to pour all of that money into the offensive line after discovering startable gems like rookie Day 3 pick (and Day 1 left tackle) Braxton Jones. Jones finished as the highest-rated rookie tackle in 2022 according to PFF. Additionally, the Bears found a home for Teven Jenkins at guard. Jenkins flashed excellent power as a run blocker and showed a good feel for interior pass blocking.
The Bears were able to use some of their free agent money to fortify the interior of their offensive line by targeting Nate Davis (14 pressures on 385 pass-blocking snaps) and moving Cody Whitehair back to center, which has been his best position during his seven-year career. Chicago also utilized two trade backs in the draft to acquire Darnell Wright, a plug-and-play left tackle with a mean streak that allowed 0 sacks last season on 507 pass-blocking plays. The Bears have solid experience behind the starters with Larry Borom and Lucas Patrick and could be a dark horse team to break into the top 10 if everybody adapts quickly to their new positions.
17. New England Patriots
Projected Starters: Trent Brown, Cole Strange, David Andrews, Mike Onwenu (PUP), Riley Reiff
Key Reserves: Calvin Anderson (T) (INJ), Connor McDermott (T), Veridian Lowe (T), Sidy Sow (G), Jake Andrews (C)
The Patriots entire offense struggled during 2022 with a defensive coach serving as an offensive coordinator. That doesn’t mean that the offensive line isn’t blameless in the team’s problems. Left tackle Trent Brown has been a pillar of consistency in his career but struggled at times in 2022 by surrendering 39 pressures and eight sacks on 629 pass-blocking snaps. Cole Strange played as expected making the jump from FCS Chattanooga in his college career. However, he was far from detrimental to the offense in his first season.
This team did have positives though with both David Andrews (PFF’s 8th-ranked center) and Mike Onwenu (PFF’s 4th-ranked guard) providing exceptional play for their positions. The team will hope that Riley Reiff (18 pressures on 293 pass-blocking snaps) can end last year’s failed musical chairs experience between Isaiah Wynn and Yodny Cajuste. New England has two solid, experienced backup tackles in Calvin Anderson and Connor McDermott, and drafted two upside interior linemen in Eastern Michigan’s Sidy Sow and Troy’s Jake Andrews.
18. Carolina Panthers
Projected Starters: Ikem Ekwonu, Brady Christensen, Bradley Bozeman, Austin Corbett (PUP), Taylor Moton
Key Reserves: Cameron Erving (T/G), Chandler Zavala (G), Justin McCray (C)
This ranking feels tenuous after a disastrous start to the preseason, but we will lean on the talent evaluations and hope that was a blip on the radar. Four of the five returning offensive linemen played 17 games in 2022 (center Bradley Bozeman missed six games). Even with the high snap counts, no Panthers lineman allowed more than 27 pressures or six sacks last season.
Four of the five offensive linemen finished with a PFF grade above 63.0. The lone straggler was left guard Brady Christensen. The Panthers’ unit lacks star power, but they have shown effectiveness as a group. This group will be aided by the return of Austin Corbett at right guard but should be able to get by with depth with experienced guard/tackle hybrid Cameron Erving, NC State rookie Chandler Zavala, and backup center Justin McCray.
19. Houston Texans
Projected Starters: Laremy Tunsil, Kendrick Green, Juice Scruggs, Shaq Mason, Tytus Howard (INJ)
Key Reserves: George Fant (T), Rashaad Coward (G), Michael Dieter (C/G), Josh Jones (T)
Houston’s ability to climb these rankings hinges on two things. One is the amount of time Tytus Howard misses due to surgery on his broken hand. The second is the ability for rookie center Juice Scruggs to acclimate to the NFL level. Unfortunately for Houston, second-year guard Kenyon Green will miss the entire season to an injury, which is a shame considering how poorly he played in his rookie season. Houston wasted no time replacing him, trading for Pittsburgh’s backup guard Kendrick Green. He will play alongside Laremy Tunsil, a top-3 left tackle in the NFL. His contact extension this offseason was well-deserved. Additionally, Tytus Howard continues to develop at right tackle and is a solid NFL starter at right tackle who is ascending.
The Texans weren’t enthused by what they saw from their backup right tackle. They made a solid move by acquiring Josh Jones from the Cardinals before the season. Jones has gained significant playing experience the last two seasons as an injury fill-in and is coming off a very solid season. Houston struggled mightily on the interior last season but attempted to address those issues by trading for Shaq Mason and drafting center Juice Scruggs in the second round of the 2023 draft (27 pressures and three sacks in 1,128 pass-blocking snaps). George Fant, Rashaad Coward, and Michael Dieter all have game experience in the NFL and add solid depth to this unit in a pinch.
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
Projected Starters: Dan Moore Jr., Isaac Seumalo, Mason Cole, James Daniels, Chukwuma Okorafor
Key Reserves: Broderick Jones (T), Nate Herbig (C/G)
The Steelers are historically slow when it comes to trusting rookies, so don’t be surprised if Dan Moore Jr. starts at left tackle to begin the year with steady doses of Broderick Jones mixed into the rotation. Moore Jr. and right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor had significant struggles in pass protection last season (80 pressures and 10 sacks combined). Therefore, it shouldn’t take him long to crack the starting five.
Jones has limitations due to inexperience (he started just one season in college). However, he’s an elite athlete who needs to clean up his technique with experience. The Steelers also addressed their biggest need in free agency this offseason. A savvy move was made by signing Isaac Seumalo away from the Philadelphia Eagles. The Steelers have plenty of experienced depth with former starter Kendrick Green at guard and Nate Herbig (707 snaps in 2022) as a backup center with experience at guard.
21. Indianapolis Colts
Projected Starters: Bernhard Raimann, Quenton Nelson, Ryan Kelly, Will Fries, Braden Smith
Key Reserves: Danny Pinter (G/C), Blake Freeland (T)
2022 was a very humbling season for the Colts’ offensive line after many expected them to be a top-5 unit. Both Quenton Nelson and Ryan Kelly struggled to return to form after 2021 injuries. They allowed a combined 56 pressures and 10 sacks from the interior. Thankfully for Indianapolis, right tackle Braden Smith continued to cement himself as a solid performer with a top-25 grade among tackles per PFF.
This unit finds itself out of the top 20 thanks to serious question marks at left tackle and right guard. Both Bernhard Raimann and Will Fries struggled with consistency in their first season as full-time players. Both players will need to figure out the NFL game in a hurry to improve this team’s performance. Both interior backup Danny Pinter and 2023 fourth-round draft pick Blake Freeland project as project players with plus athleticism but are hardly sure bets to provide adequate replacement value should the injury bug continue to plague the Colts’ offensive line.
Tier 5: More Questions than Answers
22. New York Giants
Projected Starters: Andrew Thomas, Ben Bredeson, John Michael Schmitz Jr., Mark Glowinski, Evan Neal
Key Reserves: Joshua Ezeudu (G), Tyre Phillips (T), Matt Peart (T)
The Giants have spent the last few seasons investing heavily into their offensive line, but the results just haven’t come together at the same time. Andrew Thomas has finally developed into a locked-in top-5 left tackle in the league after some growing pains. Unfortunately, 2022 top-10 pick Evan Neal was subject to the same pains last season. Neal finished as PFF’s 91st-ranked tackle by allowing 39 pressures and seven sacks on 453 pass-blocking snaps.
Pedigree will likely win out for Neal. Although, it is hard to rank the team much higher until he shows more at the NFL level. The Giants also drafted John Michael Schmitz in the second round of the NFL draft. In college, Michael Schmitz gave up just 14 pressures and two sacks. The team can expect solid play from Mark Glowinski. Additionally, the Giants need a developmental step from either Ben Bredeson (621 snaps in 2022) or Joshua Ezeudu (292 snaps in 2022). Both players rotated through left guard last season. Tyre Phillips and Matt Peart provide good depth at tackle. However, this unit still has too many warts to climb into the next tier. To make that leap, Neal and Schmitz Jr. need to establish that they belong at the NFL level.
23. New Orleans Saints
Projected Starters: Trevor Penning, Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, Cesar Ruiz, Ryan Ramczyk
Key Reserves: James Hurst (T/G), Max Garcia (C/G), Nick Saldiveri (G/T), Storm Norton (T)
Trevor Penning was always going to have a learning curve making the jump from dominating at Northern Iowa to being a first-round pick tasked with replacing Terron Armstead at left tackle. Unfortunately, a preseason foot injury limited him to just 124 snaps in his rookie season. In a short sample size, we saw the punishing run defender we expected (80.2 run-blocking grade on PFF) while also getting a first-hand view of his limitations as a pass blocker (38.7 pass-blocking grade on PFF). Ryan Ramczyk continued his climb among the league’s best right tackles, finishing as PFF’s 15th-ranked tackle in the NFL.
The interior of the offensive line also regressed, with the combination of Andrus Peat, Erik McCoy, and Cesar Ruiz averaging a 55.9 run-blocking grade and combining to surrender 46 pressures and nine sacks on the season. The Saints have experienced veterans in James Hurst, Max Garcia, and Storm Norton as depth behind their starters. However, none of them have proven to be very impactful in their careers either. Nick Saldiveri is an intriguing upside lineman who can play guard or tackle. He will likely need time to develop into a usable NFL lineman.
24. New York Jets
Projected Starters: Duane Brown (T)(PUP), Laken Tomlinson, Connor McGovern, Alijah Vera-Tucker, Mekhi Becton
Key Reserves: Max Mitchell (T), Billy Turner (T), Wes Schweitzer (G/C), Joe Tippmann (C)
If you are an eternal optimist, you will find this ranking for the Jets’ offensive line far too low heading into the 2023 season. In reality, this is a unit where only one of the projected starters (Laken Tomlinson) played more than seven games during the 2022 season. Mekhi Becton lost another developmental season to a lower-body injury. Alijah Vera-Tucker showed flashes of growth but missed a significant amount of time due to injuries as well.
The injuries rushed 2022 developmental pick Max Mitchell into action. Mitchell expectedly struggled his way to PFF’s No. 85-ranked tackle. The Jets clearly understood the tenuous nature of their offensive line and added experienced veterans like Billy Turner (483 snaps in 2022) and Wes Schweitzer (419 snaps in 2022). New York also added Joe Tippmann in the second round of the 2023 NFL draft. Tippmann was in the conversation for the best center in the draft class after a successful career at Wisconsin. The Jets will continue to hope that Mekhi Becton can turn a corner and stay healthy. They’ve done their best to position themselves in case his injuries and conditioning are too much to overcome.
25. Buffalo Bills
Projected Starters: Dion Dawkins, Connor McGovern, Mitch Morse, O’Cyrus Torrence, Spencer Brown
Key Reserves: Ryan Bates (G), David Edwards (G), David Quessenberry (T), Greg Mancz (C/G)
The biggest Achilles heel of Buffalo’s roster throughout the Josh Allen era has been a weak offensive line. Last season’s acquisition of Rodger Saffold didn’t pay dividends. The veteran left guard provided just a 44.0 PFF grade. Buffalo will hope that this year’s veteran acquisition, Connor McGovern, can fortify the left side of the offensive line a bit better. On the surface, McGovern is an upgrade and finished with a solid 69.6 PFF grade while allowing just 24 pressures on 712 pass-blocking snaps in 2022.
The Bills also added arguably the best interior offensive lineman in the 2023 draft in O’Cyrus Torrence out of Florida. Torrence is locked in a battle with incumbent 2022 starter Ryan Bates for the first-team offensive line. Buffalo has experienced, but generally average depth pieces in David Edwards, David Quessenberry, and Greg Mancz. This is a solid unit. However, there isn’t any reason to believe they will be anything more than average in 2023.
26. Arizona Cardinals
Projected Starters: D.J. Humphries, Elijah Wilkinson, Hjalte Froholdt, Will Hernandez, Paris Johnson Jr.
Key Reserves: Kelvin Beachum (T), Dennis Daley (G)
The Cardinals were linked heavily to Paris Johnson Jr. heading into the 2023 Draft. Eventually, the Cardinals got their guy after a trade down (and a trade back up). Johnson Jr. was deservedly the best tackle prospect in this draft, but his selection was a bit confusing considering the strong play the Cardinals got from 2022 starters D.J. Humphries (72.3 PFF grade) and Kelvin Beachum (70.6 PFF grade). The rookie has seemingly supplanted Beachum heading into the 2022 season. This ultimately provides the Cardinals with one of the best swing tackles in the NFL. Elijah Wilkinson and Will Hernandez are two solid guards who can provide consistent play. This team’s success will hinge on whether free agent acquisition Hjalte Froholdt can show his flashes as a reserve with the Browns can extend to full-time action.
Tier 6: Technically Defined as an Offensive Line
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Projected Starters: Tristan Wirfs, Matt Feiler, Robert Hainsey, Cody Mauch, Luke Goedeke
Key Reserves: Nick Leverett (G), Aaron Stinnie (G), Brandon Walton (T)
The Buccaneers’ offensive line is pretty much Tristan Wirfs and a bunch of bodies. Wirfs had another dominating season at right tackle, finishing as PFF’s 7th-ranked offensive tackle. The Buccaneers will hope his dominance will translate to the left side of the line after releasing long-time veteran Donovan Smith during the offseason. The team also decided to trade their only other above-average starter when they moved Shaq Mason to the Texans early in the offseason.
Unfortunately, it seems like the knee injury that cost Ryan Jensen a majority of his 2022 season may threaten his entire career. Tampa Bay will once again turn to Robert Hainsey in his place after Hainsey proved he can be an adequate NFL starter (66.7 PFF grade) in his first full season of game action.
The Buccaneers also need 2023 second-round pick Cody Mauch to quickly acclimate to the NFL after a college career at FCS North Dakota State and also need Luke Goedeke to improve after an abysmal season at left guard (his 43.7 PFF grade in 2022 would have ranked him as the 92nd overall tackle). The Buccaneers have several interior linemen with game experience in the NFL, but lack depth at tackle, meaning the staters will have to hit for this unit to return to the dominating form they showed throughout Tom Brady‘s tenure.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars
Projected Starters: Walker Little, Ben Bartch, Luke Fortner, Brandon Scherff, Anton Harrison
Key Reserves: Cam Robinson* (T), Blake Hance (G), Tyler Shatley (C/G)
*4-game suspension; projected starter at LT upon return
On paper, the Jaguars have a bottom-5 offensive line, especially with starting left tackle Cam Robinson set to miss the first four games due to a suspension. Veteran tackle Walker Little will finally get a chance to see the field after backing up Robinson and former right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Little looked very average in 234 snaps last season and will hopefully help stabilize this unit to start the season. 2023 first-round pick Anton Harrison has some developing to do but will be thrown into the fire during his first season as the starting right tackle.
Brandon Scherff is still a plug-and-play right guard whose best days are clearly in the past. He is arguably the most talented lineman in this unit until Robinson’s return. Ben Bartch and Luke Fortner need to show growth in 2022 for this team to be a player in the race for a Super Bowl appearance since there is such little depth behind them.
29. Las Vegas Raiders
Projected Starters: Kolton Miller, Dylan Parham, Andre James, Alex Bars, Jermaine Eluemunor
Key Reserves: Thayer Munford Jr. (T), Greg Van Roten (G)
The Raiders got strong play from tackles Kolton Miller and Jermaine Eluemunor last season. But their interior offensive line was abysmal. The returning interior combination of Dylan Parham, Andre James, and Alex Bars allowed a combined 117 pressures and 13 sacks in the passing game. Thankfully, they were able to put together a strong season as run blockers to help Josh Jacobs have a career year.
The Raiders chose not to target the offensive line at the top of the NFL draft. Therefore, this unit remains largely unchanged heading into the 2023 season. Las Vegas is using the preseason to determine if they want to use Eluemunor to replace the wildly overmatched Alex Bars at right guard (developmental 2022 seventh-round pick Thayer Munford Jr. would take over at right tackle). However, that would be the equivalent of moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. This unit just doesn’t have the talent to push themselves out of the bottom of any offensive line ranking unless everybody simultaneously has a career year.
30. Washington Commanders
Projected Starters: Charles Leno Jr., Saahdiq Charles, Nick Gates, Sam Cosmi, Andrew Wylie
Key Reserves: Braeden Daniels (T) (IR), Chris Paul (G), Cornelius Lucas (T/G), Ricky Stromberg (C)
The Washington Commanders’ offensive line is comprised of a bunch of average offensive linemen who the team hopes will do something more than average. Left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is the only projected starter who played in all 17 games last season who flashed in pass protection (37 pressures on 669 pass-blocking snaps). Leno failed to get any movement as a run blocker (55.9 PFF run-blocking grade).
Washington also added Andrew Wylie in free agency after he provided an uninspiring season at right tackle with the Kansas City Chiefs. Things could get messy on the interior of this offensive line after the team chose to let solid (but often injured) veterans Andrew Norwell, Chase Roullier, and Wes Schweitzer walk in free agency. They will hope that other frequently injured (and far less experienced) players like Saahdiq Charles, Nick Gates, and Sam Cosmi can at least provide help. Braeden Daniels was a solid replacement tackle last year. Additionally, the team will hope that 2023 third-round pick Ricky Stromberg can plug and play any of the interior positions if needed. Stromberg surrendered just 11 hurries and zero sacks in 416 pass-pro plays with Arkansas in 2022.
31. Tennessee Titans
Projected Starters: Andre Dillard, Peter Skoronski, Aaron Brewer, Daniel Brunskill, Chris Hubbard
Key Reserves: Nicholas Petit-Frere* (T), Dillon Radunz (G) (PUP)
*6-game suspension; projected starter at RT upon return
Believing in the Titans’ offensive line requires an unhealthy amount of projection and optimism. Three different linemen from the 2022 unit (Dennis Daley, Aaron Brewer, and Nicholas Petit-Frere) allowed over 35 pressures and had PFF grades under 60.0 last season. Two of them remain and are expected to play significant roles on offense (once Petit-Frere returns from a 6-game suspension). The Titans took upside shots on players like Andre Dillard and Daniel Brunskill in free agency to upgrade their offensive line.
Unfortunately, these players struggled to secure significant roles on their old teams. As a result, they remain mystery boxes as NFL starters. The most impactful addition is undoubtedly 2023 No. 11 overall pick Peter Skoronski who is undersized but had impeccable technique during his time at left tackle with Northwestern. He will plug in at left guard to start his career and should have no problem acclimating quickly to the NFL.
32. Los Angeles Rams
Projected Starters: Joe Noteboom, Steve Avila, Brian Allen, Tremayne Anchrum Jr., Rob Havenstein
Key Reserves: Alaric Jackson (T), Coleman Shelton (C), Warren McClendon Jr. (T), Logan Bruss (G/T), Kevin Dotson (G)
The Rams’ offense was decimated by injuries during the 2022 season. That extended to their offensive line. Of the proposed starters, only Rob Havenstein played more than 425 snaps last season. He was solid but surrendered 41 pressures and six sacks on 632 pass-blocking snaps in 2022. Years of moving future draft picks for NFL talent yielded a Super Bowl (so it was worth it). However, it has made it impossible for the team to infuse young NFL talent into the roster.
Joe Noteboom hasn’t hit the mark as an Andrew Whitworth replacement. While he’s projected as the team’s starting left tackle, he’s also been getting reps at right guard in training camp. He could slot there (former UDFA Alaric Jackson would replace him at left tackle). Steve Avila may very well be the best pass protector in the 2023 draft class among interior offensive linemen. The problem is he’s not the kind of player who is going to anchor and transform this unit single-handedly. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where this collection of players is anything but a bottom-3 offensive line (at best) heading into 2023. The Rams also made a reasonable trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers, adding veteran guard Kevin Dotson before roster cutdowns. Dotson struggled at times with the Steelers, but should definitely compete for a spot at guard with rookie Steve Avila or inexperienced veteran Tremayne Anchrum Jr.